Breast-feeding knowledge and attitudes of teenage mothers in Liverpool
To determine the knowledge and attitudes of teenage mothers towards breast-feeding. Design
A questionnaire of teenage (< 20 years) and non-teenage (≥ 20 years) primigravidae attending the antenatal care services at the Liverpool Women's Hospital, during the period April–May 2000. Results
Forty teenage primigravidae and 40 non-teenage primigravidae registered for the survey. Teenagers had poorer knowledge about breast-feeding than the non-teenagers, and fewer teenagers considered breast milk the best food for their baby. More teenagers than non-teenagers planned to bottle feed [23 (57.5%) vs. 9 (22.5%), P=0.002]. Only one teenager had knowledge about colostrum. Teenagers were more often single, had a lower level of education, higher unemployment, higher smoking frequency and less contact with a person who had previously breast-fed. Conclusion
Teenage primigravidae have poor knowledge regarding breast-feeding compared with non-teenage primigravidae. A greater proportion of teenagers opted not to breast-feed compared with non-teenagers. Health education classes stressing the importance of breast-feeding should be emphasized in antenatal teenage clinics. More research is needed to understand how to improve the knowledge and motivation of adolescent girls to breast feed.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2002-02-01